Rahula expresses such great love and devotion to the Buddha his father that he forgets to claim his inheritance
On the seventh day of the Buddha's visit to Kapilavatthu, which was after Prince Nanda had become a monk, the Buddha and the Order of monks entered King Suddhodana's palace for their meal once again.
Nanda was the second heir to the throne, after the Buddha, who was originally to assume rule after King Suddhodana, but when Nanda became a monk, or more correctly, was forced to ordain by his older brother, the succession to the throne then fell to Rahula, Prince Siddhattha's son.
Princess Bimbayasodhara, seeing her chance, knowing that the Buddha had entered the palace to take the meal, dressed Rahula beautifully with the full regalia of a Kshatriya prince, and said to him, "That noble samana, with the golden radiance and a sound like a god, surrounded by 20,000 monks, is your father."
Bimba told her son to go and ask for his inheritance and all his father's wealth, which he had not yet passed on. The Princess told her son that it was usual for a son to take over the wealth of the father.
At this time, the Pathamasambodhi states, Rahula was seven years old, and from the day of his birth had never seen his father. He saw him for the first time when the Buddha entered the town of Kapilavatthu. Seeing him and getting close to him, Rahula was filled with love for the Buddha, as a son would feel for his father. Rahula said one sentence to the Buddha, which in essence was "I am so happy to be close to my father." Then he asked for his inheritance and the rights to his father's wealth, as his mother had told him.
The Buddha did not answer. Eating his meal and giving a blessing, he went back to the Nigrodha Park with the Order, with Rahula following on to ask for his inheritance.
Copyright © 2002 Mahidol
University All rights reserved.